Final Eagles 7-round 2023 NFL mock draft: Philly adds day-one contributors
The Eagles have a former Alabama star at left guard. How about another for the right side?
With Issac Seumalo gone, the Eagles currently have a massive hole at right guard. 2022 second-round pick Cam Jurgens could make the switch from center to right guard for the 2023 season, but he would likely move back to the center position in 2024 if Jason Kelce calls it a career. That would leave the Eagles the same hole at right guard to fill next offseason.
Enter Alabama’s Emil Ekiyor Jr.: He won the starting right guard job at Alabama ahead of the 2020 season and held that position through 2022. In his final season with the Crimson Tide, he played 652 snaps at right guard and allowed zero sacks and zero quarterback hits. He did so without committing any penalties.
During his three seasons as a starting right guard, Ekiyor played over 2,200 snaps and allowed only one sack and six quarterback hits while committing just six penalties.
Ekiyor stands at six-foot-two. He weighed into the Combine at 314 pounds and turned 23 years old in January. Despite his below-average height, he still has arms that are average in length at 33 7/8 inches.
The lone drill that Ekiyor chose to participate in at the Combine was the bench press, where he posted 23 reps. It may not be a number that blows scouts away, but he still possesses the ability to overpower defenders on run-blocking plays. He also has the agility to pull on blocks when asked.
Emil Ekiyor Jr was featured as a second-round selection in a mock draft we released during the first free agency spike; however, his value as we reach draft week seems to have landed him fourth and fifth-round grades. This is mostly due to both his below-average height, his over-aggressive blocking style, and potentially some scouts believing that Ekioyr is a benefactor of the talent around him at Alabama.
Ekiyor was individually great in his own right. He has a draft profile very similar to Jason Kelce, and given the chance, he can earn the starting right guard job by Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.